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Mystics top Aces with fourth-quarter run

Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Shakira Austin and Natasha Cloud combined to score 12 points during a 13-0 fourth-quarter run, and the Washington Mystics snapped the visiting Las Vegas Aces’ five-game winning streak in an 83-73 decision on Tuesday.

Washington (20-12) held Las Vegas’ WNBA-leading scoring offense more than 17 points below the average it brought into Tuesday’s matchup. The Mystics capped their stifling defensive effort by holding the Aces scoreless for 5:03 during the decisive, late-game run.

For Las Vegas (22-9), its 73 points were their fewest since scoring just 71 against Minnesota on July 3.

Cloud, who scored a team-high 16 points, dished one of her game-high nine assists amid the fourth quarter burst to set up Austin for a 3-point play. Austin finished with 15 points, five of which came on the run.

Five Mystics in total scored at least nine points, with Ariel Atkins adding 13, Alysha Clark posting nine in addition to five rebounds and four assists, and Myisha Hines-Allen going for nine off the bench.

Hines-Allen led Washington to a 25-5 advantage in bench points. Elizabeth Williams added six points, while Rui Machida and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each notched five.

The reserves stepping up took some pressure off Elena Delle Donne, who shot just 1-of-7 from the floor for five points. Delle Donne came into Tuesday’s contest having scored at least 17 points in the previous seven.

However, she grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and dished five assists. In total, 25 of Washington’s 31 made field goals came via assists.

A’ja Wilson led all scorers with 22 points in the loss and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Chelsea Gray added 20 points and Kelsey Plum finished with 15 points in the first defeat of the Aces’ six-game road swing.

Las Vegas plays two more on the road before returning home.

–Field Level Media